JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas — The Medical Capability Integration Directorate (MED CDID) hosted its culminating limited objective experiment for calendar year 2022: the Theater Medical Command (TMC) Experiment.
The experiment, held at Fort Sam Houston from December 5-9, 2022, examined the optimal organizational design of the TMC and how the scope and scale of large-scale combat operations impact the Army's ability to prioritize and control limited Army Health System capabilities in support of widely distributed Army, joint forces and partner nations across a theater.
This critical topic was built upon the foundation of Medical Modernization, AFC Concept for Medical 2028, and insights and information gathered from the MED CDID’s Force Health Protection Experiment, Whole Blood at the Point of Need experiment, Medical Command and Control experiment and Patient Movement experiment.
As a theater-enabling command, the TMC will support the future operating environment of 2030 by providing the medical command and control required to succeed in large-scale combat operations. The TMC experiment used operational vignettes that described operations in competition, crisis, and conflict to create a framework for a facilitated discussion on optimizing the TMC's structure.
Col. James Jones, Medical Capability Development Integration Directorate director, provided opening remarks and highlighted the importance of the experiment.
“In a geographically dispersed, multi-domain environment in 2030, Army medical forces require an expanded ability to provide medical command and control to support large-scale combat operations. The Theater Medical Command is how we support this requirement.”
A few participating organizations included Army Medical Command, the Office of the Army Surgeon General, the Defense Health Agency, Air Mobility Command, Army Special Operations, Sustainment CDID, Mission Command CDID, Cyber CDID, Australian international partners and U.S. Army Reserve Medical Command. The Army currently has three Medical Commands (Deployment Support) transitioning to TMC. Two of the three organizations reside in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Brig. Gen. Michael Yost, deputy commanding general, 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support), emphasized the need for total participation in exercises.
“We need to continue involving the Army Reserves in the TMC development process. We’re chomping at the bit to join in these exercises and have already participated in some, but we want to dig deeper. We want to be part of the solution,” said Yost.
The MED CDID, under the Futures and Concepts Center (FCC) within the Army Futures Command (AFC), studies aspects of the Army Health System critical to preserving health readiness and combat power to support Army 2030 forces.
The outcomes of this experiment were the refined concepts that describe the required medical command and control structure that has the capability and capacity to coordinate, synchronize, and integrate medical resources across the depth and breadth of the theater in support of multi-domain operations. The findings from this experiment will inform the capability workbook for Theater Medical Commands and future Army medical concepts.
“A critical part of our task connected to the TMC is remembering why we’re here and that’s to conserve the fighting strength,” said Brig. Gen. Todd Traver, Deputy Commanding General, 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support). “It’s up to us to medically set the theater right and to work together. When we can do that, we save lives.”
The experiment results were briefed to Army senior leaders in an event out-brief on December 9, 2022, and will be shared within FCC, AFC and Army Medical Command. Future MED CDID events will continue to examine complexities within the Army’s role of managing medical support within a theater of operations.
Maj. Gen. Michael Talley, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, emphasized the importance of each contributor’s involvement in the experiment. “It’s important we do the best we can for the future, and the TMC will support multiple command problem sets we see in our future.”